My S100fs gallery + mini review

Started Mar 7, 2008 | Discussions thread
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petehodbod
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My S100fs gallery + mini review
Mar 7, 2008

I've had my S100fs for around 4 days now, and have already posted a large number of shots to my fotki gallery. But because I posted them half way thru an existing thread, I was recommended to create a new thread for them incase anyone had missed them.

Besides I added some more last night so now have a grand total of 130 photos and counting!

http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/

As for the quality of the photos, all were taken on high quality jpg, sharpness was set to default (medium), apart from playing around with the film simulation modes, extended dynamic range, EV and ISO, I let the camera decide the shuttter and aperture itself...my skills dont go that far yet, but i'm working on them.

For comparative cameras, for the last year I've been mostly moving between a F31fs for evenings and parties, a Canon TX1 primarily for it's video and one-size-fits-all ability, and a Panasonic FZ30 for the days I want to walk around looking like a tourist...which I purchased the S100fs to replace. So my experience is based around my previous experience with these cameras, especially compared to the latter.

CONTROLS

Controls are great, with dedicated buttons for face detection, ISO, Exposure, and a 3 position dial for Exposure type, there are plenty of manual controls. I do tho miss the FZ30's 2nd dial below the shutter button. The bracket button in addition to others has functions for AE, film simulation and dynamic range, which are great for learning the abilities of the camera.

FACE DETECTION

I always thought this was a gimmick, until fuji figured out how to use it combined with the flash to remove red eye automatically, now it makes perfect sense!

http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0253.html
(ISO 800, flash intensity reduced to minimum)

OIS

Image stabilization works amazingly, and you can see what Fuji have been missing these last few years. Last night I was doing hand held at ISO 400, with shutter speeds of under 1/10. Ok, because the FZ30 was so bad in low light I learned a long time how to stand very still while taking photos, but i'm finding I can really push this camera at night far more than my F31fd

EXTENDED DYNAMIC RANGE

Extended dynamic range on the S100fs is not a miracle worker, it wont save impossible situations but will help bring out the subtleties in photos of above average to high-ish contrast.

You can see in these 3 comparisons, with one side of the building in bright sunlight, and the other in shadow, although there is a subtle change, it was never going to work miracles...

http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0320.html
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0321.html
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0322.html

But is a lot better in a situation like this...
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0397.html

Paul De Bra seem to figure out best what seems to be going on with this post...

How I understand it what happens is that the camera will underexpose one stop
(for 200% DR) or 2 stops (for 400% DR), thereby pretending that the ISO is
increased (which it is not). So at 400% DR you then get an exposure as if you
were shooting at ISO400 when you are in fact shooting ISO100 but 2 stops
underexposed. The camera then applies a process similar to what other cameras

do with "dynamic lighting" or whatever it is called to raise the brightness of the
dark areas.

FILM SIMULATION MODE

These are a lot of fun, but not really ever having been been a film user I cant really give a fair appraisal of them, apart from Velvia seems a lot like using Vivid color on a Canon compact.

My favorite film simulation tests are here...
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0295.html
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0296.html
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0297.html

IMAGE QUALITY

Images are not as sharp when zoomed right in compared to a DSLR, and purple fringing can be very noticeable. (check the leaves in the trees)
http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/s100fs/dscf0416.html

I havent messed with the sharpness setting so couldnt tell you if messing with that would help things.

I really do hope these will be improved with a firmware update. But I'm sure I dont need to tell anyone we should stop pixel poking and try to appreciate images as a whole.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I had considered returning the S100fs for a low cost SLR solution like a D40 because of the lack of detail when zoomed all the way in and Purple fringing, but have decided to keep the camera because of the convenience of the all in one form factor, combined with the fact that I like and often shoot at the long end of the zoom. Therefore if I wanted a DSLR equivalent I would be looking at a minimum 2 lens solution, and the price would have been way over my 600 euro limit.

For example, while in egypt 2 years ago with my Panasonic FZ30, while cruising down the nile I was able to get some incredible shots of life on the river bank thanks to it's 12X stabilized lens, and I really dont want to lose that feature.
This is possibly my favorite photo ever, taken at maximum zoom on a moving boat.

http://public.fotki.com/peteyhods/fz30/p10103062.html

...ok, so it's not perfect, but the fact is I got it and captures the emotion of the scene.

I like how I can pick up the S100fs and walk out the door without having to think or plan for the kinds of shots I might be taking. I know I am losing image quality because I havent chosen an SLR, but the S100fs' huge versatility makes up for it.

And when it all comes down to it, the S100fs has got me out of the house every day this week, and got me inspired, experimenting, and pushing the limits of the camera, which is the most important thing. While the image quality may not be on par with an SLR, I already feel safe in the knowledge that I can throw the S100fs at ANY photographic situation (night, day, sports, party, macro, extreme zoom) and it will perform very admirably.

Peace out!
pete*

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